Many employers use telephone interviews as a preliminary step to weed out potential employees who aren't a good fit for their organization. Conversing with a hiring manager on the phone shares some similarities to an in-person encounter, but there are some differences to consider. You don't have to be a call center associate to have good telephone etiquette.
The Sarina Russo Group states that 55 percent of an applicant's impact is based on how they dress and act during the interview. Unfortunately, none of these visual cues come into play during a phone inquiry, so you have to compensate with excellent verbal communication skills.
- Be articulate and demonstrate your intelligence, but don't adopt language that feels unnatural to you.
- Convey enthusiasm and alertness in your voice by smiling naturally as you talk. Even if it feels asinine, you'll avoid sounding disengaged or inattentive.
- Call a friend beforehand to evaluate how you sound over the phone. They can tell you if you employ too many filler words, speak too quietly, or talk at too brisk of a pace.
- Don't eat, drink, or chew gum while you talk on the phone. Your interviewer will be able to hear it.
Before any phone interview, research the company you're applying to and the job qualifications. For a phone interview, prepare further with these tips.
- Try to schedule the interview at a time when you'll be in a quiet location to avoid distractions and interruptions.
- Affix your resume and any notes you have on the wall so you can review them without looking down, which can make your voice sound muffled.
- Have a pen and paper available so you can write down any notes, such as the date of your next interview.
- Make sure your cell phone connection is strong before the call to avoid disconnecting or poor sound quality. (You may even want to use a land line if you have access to one.)
Remember that a telephone interview is just as formal as an in-person interview. Don't ever put your interviewer on hold or interrupt them. Without visual clues of an in-person interview telephone interviews can be tricky--but with these sure-fire tips you'll be equipped to nail your next phone interview.